Boeing is one of the largest companies in the
aviation world. Not only does the company have a vast military portfolio, but
it also has an enormous presence in the civilian aviation market with some of
the most popular passenger aircraft in the world. Boeing has celebrated the official
premiere of the latest civilian aircraft called the 747-8 Intercontinental.
The aircraft is the passenger version of a cargo
aircraft that Boeing has been working on for the past few years – the cargo
plane and its passenger version are both behind schedule. The first
flight for the 747-800 was conducted in February of 2010, almost exactly a year
Boeing unveiled the new 747-8
Intercontinental officially at an event with about 10,000 guests
including current and potential customers. Boeing is aiming the plane at the
400-500 seat market and claims that the new aircraft has unrivaled efficiency
Boeing's CEO Jim Albaugh said, "The new 747-8
Intercontinental features the latest in innovative technologies — applying many
of the breakthroughs also found on the 787 Dreamliner. We think our customers
will value the low operating costs and passengers will enjoy the comfort of the
striking new interior."
So far the 747-8 has 33
orders on the books with 20 of the planes ordered for Lufthansa alone;
Korean Air Lines is on the hook for five of the aircraft reports Bloomberg.
Each of the aircraft sells for $317.5 million and will carry about 467
passengers in a three-class configuration.
Boeing thinks that the new 747-8 Intercontinental
is sized well to put pressure on the larger Airbus
A380 that seats about 525 passengers. Boeing's Elizabeth Lund said,
"With an A380, you run the risk of not filling every seat whenever you
fly. It’s, we think, really the right size most of the time in most
Boeing notes that the 747-8 provides operators
with 12% lower costs to operate than its predecessor the 747-400. The 747-8
gets 16% better fuel economy, has 16% less carbon emissions per passenger, and
has a 30% smaller noise footprint. The aircraft also uses some interior
features from the 787 Dreamliner with curved and upswept interior architecture
that gives passengers the feeling of more space and adds more room for personal
USA Today notes
that the aircraft was lengthened
by 18.3-feet, making the 747-8 the longest jetliner in the world. The
hump that is familiar on Boeing's 747 has been lengthened a well to cover
double deck seating inside and is 13.3-feet longer than before.
The overall wingspan of the massive airliner is
224-feet and it is propelled by GEnx-2B67 engines built by GE. These engines
use about 30% fewer parts than other jet engines to reduce maintenance and the
chance of failure. The cruise speed for the 747-8 is Mach 0.86 or about 570
"As the only airplane in the 400 to 500-seat
market, the 747-8 Intercontinental will give operators an airplane perfectly
suited for long, heavily traveled routes around the world," said Pat
Shanahan, vice president and general manager, Airplane Programs, Boeing
Commercial Airplanes. "The new 747-8 Intercontinental will set a new
standard in economic and environmental performance, while providing a
world-class passenger experience."
quote: I've always loved the 747,
quote: Civilian aircraft do not have radar.